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Exhibition Depicting General Practice in Ireland Launched

Professor of General Practice, School of Medicine, Tom O Dowd views one of the General Practice images

A unique photographic exhibition depicting the depth of GP care in rural Ireland has been launched by Professor Tom O'Dowd of Trinity College Dublin. The project which is supported by Bluebird Care, marked the conclusion of Trinity College Dublin's School of Medicine tercentenary celebrations.

Around 50,000 patients consult Ireland’s 2,800 general practitioners each day and to date GPs one-to-one interaction with patients has not been illustrated. The aim of the exhibition, titled 'General Practice', is to depict the day to day work of general practitioners from a variety of communities in a manner and place that is accessible to the public.

The exhibition, opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD who studied medicine in Trinity, highlights the vital role of GPs in contemporary Irish society, providing a glimpse into the usually private interactions between GP and patient.

It is the inspiration of the Professor of General Practice in the School of Medicine, Tom O’Dowd who commissioned Fionn McCann as photographer. The images were taken between 2009 and 2011, and document a series of patients’ visits to six GPs to reflect the spectrum of traditional to modern landscapes within general practice throughout Ireland today.  In colour and black-and-white photographs, the photographer captures the trials, tribulations and sometimes humour of these encounters.

The GPs and the featured patients gave permission to have the photographer present during these normally private encounters and the project was ethically approved by the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Director of Operations with Bluebird Care, Eddie O'Toole says, "this is a wonderful and insightful project which personifies in great depth the dedication of GP's across Ireland. Recognising the sometimes untold stories of General Practice, Bluebird Care were eager to support this innovative and imaginative project. We hope to share the catalogue of photos with our members once the exhibition closes."

The exhibition runs until May 27th in the Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.